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Bare with me here... I am the new lead product designer for a company, and they way an app i am working has no hierarchy... so this design i am working on is a mobile app for entering product items, in the home page there's options such as "Manage Locations", "Suppliers" and "Create Item".

When user taps on "Create Item", it opens a page where they enter the information in the form, such as "Name", "Brand Name", "Quantity", "Supplier", etc.

"Supplier" is a dropdown, where they select the supplier name, and if they don't have any it will say "You don't have any suppliers. Please Add a Supplier". So, to add a supplier, they'd have to cancel out and go to home and tap on "Suppliers", save and start "Create Item" all over again. And, Product owner does not want a "Create a New Supplier" option in the "Create Item" page.

So, how do I make sure that the user has entered ALL "Suppliers" they need prior to clicking on the "Create Item"? I don't want them to create the form, to get to "Supplier" and then have to cancel out and play ping pong between this page and "Suppliers" in the homepage.

Any suggestions and/or ideas?

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You have this binary situation: supplier true/false

If true, you show a list of suppliers.

If false, you show this:

You don't have any suppliers. Please Add a Supplier

Which obviously represents an usability issue for the reasons you mention.

However, added or not added, the suppliers exists. And I think the confusion comes because you're asking the user to add/create a supplier, when in fact you should show the user a list of available suppliers, no matter if the user added them or not (s/he shouldn't).

The solution

Once you revise the logic, it's as easy as this: suppliers should be shown at every time, and user shouldn't create anything. Thus: no conditional logic, simply show the suppliers at every time. So the form will always be the same: simple, comsistent, no friction

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The binary true/false would do the trick. However, if you have multiple case other than supplier its better to check the operation workflow or seek help so you can come up with the solution. Another approach is to accept all entries as draft until all required items.

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